Dave Winer advocates a River of News model for RSS aggregation -
"Instead of having to hunt for new stories by clicking on the titles of feeds, you just view the page of new stuff and scroll through it. It's like sitting on the bank of a river, watching the boats go by. If you miss one, no big deal."And yesterday he reiterated those views in light of Microsoft's preview release of IE7 with RSS aggregation features, which Scott Karp called a "glorified 'favourites' feature".
The River of News model is one that makes absolute sense while we're stuck in a subscription mindset. If our software insists on us making long term commitments to individual data streams then the best choice is to route those tributaries to the river. But as we slowly replace the notion of feed subscriptions with the concept of Feed Grazing it will make more sense to think about a River of Feeds. In an RSS everywhere world its not the individual news items which will flow by us but the actual streams themselves. It could be like sailing down the main artery of the Amazon basin. A meta river you might call it. Your boat can catch the eddies at the mouth of the individual tributaries as it moves along. It can can pass a mouth quickly or more slowly depending on how much information it wants to sample.
Dave says he doesn't like the idea of multiple rivers but I think that's in terms of being subscribed to feeds. The thing is its Dave's own OPML work which will provide the solution, along with Feed Grazers like OPod and Taskable. We just need to jettison the notion of subscription and replace it with the idea of on-demand feeds, feeds that you nibble at as you pass by.